Seasoned journalist Kwesi Pratt has fired shots at the Ghana Judicial Service for ordering the media to delete what they term as ”hateful, spiteful and incendiary” statements against Judges.
Delete Hateful, Spiteful & Incendiary Statements Against Judges Or Else
Lawyers for the Ghana Judicial Service, in a statement addressed to all media houses over the weekend, said it is “unacceptable” for media houses to “publish on your platforms, speeches and statements and publications which excite anger, hate and passion against the Justices presiding over the election petition”.
Such “statements and speeches interfere with the due administration of justice as Justices of our client are threatened with ominous consequences following their decisions which do not meet the expectations of some members of the society”, the statement further read.
Portiono of the statement also read; “This concern has been heightened by the flurry of statements and speeches directed at our client’s Justices, especially after the commencement of hearing of the election petition in the suit intituled John Dramani Mahama v Electoral Commission & Nana Addo.”
The legal counsel thus instructed the media to “pull or cause to be pulled down and cleared from your platforms, all statements and speeches which convey and/or insinuate hateful, spiteful, vengeful and incendiary communication against Justices of our client especially those hearing the election petition”.
They stressed that action will be taken against any media house that refuses to heed their call saying their demand is to “ensure that you do not abuse the right to free speech by deploying and/or permitting your platform to be deployed in a manner that not only threatens our constitutional order and democracy but obviously, adversely interferes with the due administration of justice and also, brings it, into disrepute”.
Nobody Can Intimidate Us
Reacting to the statement, Kwesi Pratt pointed out to the Judges that Ghana has evolved from the era of intimidation.
He stated emphatically that no one, including the Judiciary, can cow the media or suppress their freedom in ”today’s Ghana”.
He asked why the Judicial Service didn’t address specific issues in their statement to tell which media houses and reports have been made to ignite such hateful, spiteful and incendiary statements against the Judges.
He called on the Judges to name and shame the particular media houses but stressed ”freedom of expression, freedom of association and so forth is not something we’re going to allow someone to intimidate us to leave them. It won’t happen”.
”I don’t see any specific thing that they are describing as such…. Exactly! So, if you write it generally like it, it turns to be a deliberate attempt to cow the media because there is no basis for it”, he added.
He sent a strong-worded message to the Judicial Service saying ”where we have reached in Ghana, nobody can intimidate us. Nobody in Ghana can intimidate us; that’s out of the question. To intimidate us today is not possible. Even during the difficult times that when you talk, you will be killed, we talked; then today that the soup has simmered down”.
Kwesi Pratt made these comments on ”Kokrokoo” on Peace FM.